Xenopoliana, X, 2001

Discursul istoric între realitate și ficțiune.
Complementarități și antinomii



Steliu Lambru





"Moschopolis is a utopian projection, a space of fabulous abundance and of common happiness, which provokes neighbours' envy, and finally, from a paradisiacal place it becomes a place of depressing memory",66 noted Constantin Sorescu, a literary critic who closely examined the poem "Moschopolis" written by Leon T. Boga.67 This appreciation seemed to be an encouraging attempts to define the city as a utopian state of mind but with realistic support and to revisit Moschopolis as literary presence inside of people's minds. Disappointedly, this portion taken from Sorescu's text is mere a remark which intends to stress additionally city's grandeur as the rest of his study passes over any attempt of analysing Mochopolis only as a utopian creation, within the context in which Moschopolis appeared as a literary work. Conversely, the literal sense of Sorescu's comment suggests the greatness of Boga's enterprise and he pleaded for the recognition of Boga as the great restorer of the Aromanian dialect.68 As it was restored at the middle of the twentieth century, Moschopolis has some features, which allow us to situate it in larger group of the utopian genre. Concisely, Moschopolis has typical utopian features like order, happiness (virtues), religion, social equality, self-sufficiency, and communion among all inhabitants, and all these highlights are expressed differently.
The literary texts which had gradually invented the Moschopolitan utopia were mainly poems,69 this genre of literature being preferred by various authors because they have thought that the symbolic "death" of the city and the deeply-rooted trauma which was generated have to be expressed more sensitive and they have to be disseminated with larger amount of emotional tension through verses into the Aromanian collective consciousness. Equally important is to add that much more than the artistic value of utopian-writers texts, the meanings of their work became collective knowledge of how Moschopolis looked like, and what is indeed an outstanding and particular feature of the Moschopolitan utopia is that common Aromanians think that the real city resembled to as it was presented in writer's poems, the majority of ordinary readership has never read those poems. The literary tendencies of epochs in which writers have repeatedly recomposed Moschopolis were slightly different one from another, hardly might those works be considered as very original and it might be noticed that they are anachronistic in a quite higher degree but their force and their transformation into a real scientific hypothesis reside in a non-critical reading and approach of them by specialists. Besides Boga, among other Aromanians authors who sporadically wrote on Moschopolis the most important names are Nicolae Velo, Nicolae Caratana, Kira Iorgoveanu and Oani Foti70 and, furthermore, there is also a "popular" type of literature on Moschopolis, but nobody can tell more about this type of literary genre. All of them were writing within the national state paradigm and this is to the utmost importance for understanding the mechanism of transformation of Moschopolis from a certain theme of scholar interest into a national utopian discourse. Analysing its paradigm, Moschopolis is an example of a conflicting discourse in which the utopian standard is breached by national paradigm of conflict and a place of eternal harmony and perfection becomes a commonplace to live in where conflict, disorder, and affliction represent its essence.
Conceptually speaking, there are seven main particularities which define Moschopolis as a utopian project. The first feature of Moschopolis is its extraordinary geographical place that it occupies and Velo designated a mystical and indeterminate location for such an exceptional city; in order to reach Moschopolis one must cross seven hills and six valleys.71 The natural environment is a very important factor of the national paternalistic universe where God, nature, irrationality, and all non-human agents set the stage of building the perfection in order that special entity to become the exponent of God's will. It is a usual aspect in utopian constructions that the perfect place is designated for the perfect city, or the perfect isolated place was given by divinity in order to be dwelled by utopian inhabitants. Thomas More set the island, once a peninsula, as the ideal place since its quasi-isolated habit is proper for building the best place in the world to live in, and this isolated and far away settlement is the place for perfect society to cope with bad things of human existence. It is also common in More's utopia like in other utopian texts that the natural habitat is a very important element of utopian edifice, because the given configuration of such a place, with no reasonable explanation on the origins of that natural unit, urged man to build up the perfect community. For all authors who intended to describe Moschopolis, it is situated in a mountainous area, which is considered by Aromanian discourse as being the natural dwelling of Aromanians. For Velo, Moschopolis is set in the middle of "that damned country called Albania", more precisely, in the middle of "those Tosk thievish people",72 that is in the middle of enemies. Notwithstanding, this unpleasant vicinity envies and appreciates the prosperous Moschopolis for its capacities to be the leader in all economic, moral, political, and cultural aspects. Nida Boga, whose epopee is considered the superior form of intellectual expression on Moschopolis and the main creator of the utopian image on Moschopolis, imagined the city in a geographical depression "obscured by mountains and hidden by rapacious sights."73 The same author narrates the founder-myth of the settlement: the city was founded by Aromanian shepherds, who built up the future city on their behalf and his imagined founders of Moschopolis were gifted with the most traditional profession of Aromanians who has to be the basis for the city.74 We do not know either this myth of the founder shepherd was an imaginative and element of defining Moschopolis, in order to emphasize the Aromanian background of the city even from is very beginning, or whether he used it as an intentionally forced cultural parallelism in order to stress the unity between Romanians and Aromanians. This first element of the Moschopolitan utopia is an archetypal location on which the narrated plot occurs: isolated, very suitable to be dwelled and having a good fate. Also, it is important to notice the presence of God's help in founding and developing the city, whose protection inundates the city's dwellers:

"Moschopolis rises more and more/ As if God help it with His hands/ Because it is a prosperous town."75

In traditional utopias, the relationship between man and divinity will is considered as a sine qua non element. Religion is an active presence in utopians' lives even starting with Plato's Republic. In the chapter devoted to the education of the future citizens of Republic, the discussion between Adeimantus and Socrates reached the problem of what knowledge about the Gods of city should be taught to children and what should be avoided, for the sake of the future of the city:

"No young person is to hear stories which suggest that were he to commit the vilest of crimes, and were he to do his utmost to punish his father's crimes, he wouldn't be doing anything out of the ordinary, but would simply be behaving like the first and the greatest gods ... The stories which have gods fighting and scheming and battling against one another are utterly unsuitable too, because they're just as untrue ... The point is that a young person can't tell when something is allegorical and when it isn't, and any idea admitted by a person of that age tends to become almost ineradicable and permanent. All things considered, then, that is why a very great deal of importance should be placed upon ensuring that the first stories they hear are best adapted for their moral improvement."76

Thus, the role of religion is very important in the city's life. As Thomas More imagined the religion of utopians, firstly they are models for a moderate and moral life and secondly to expel the origins of any sin:

"The religious principles they invoke are of this nature: that the soul is immortal, and by God's beneficence born for happiness; and that after this life, rewards are appointed for our virtues and good deeds, punishments for our sins. Though these are indeed religious principles, they think that reason leads us to believe and accept them ... To be sure, they think happiness is found, not in every kind of pleasure, but only in good and honest pleasure. Virtue itself ... draws our nature to pleasure of this sort, as to supreme good ... They define virtue as living according to nature; and God ... created us to that end. When an individual obeys the dictates of reason in choosing one thing and avoiding another, he is following nature."77

In Moschopolis there are not so many religious or civic notions to be debated as they are expressed in this quote from More's Utopia. No one from Moschopolis debates religious commands or elements of religious doctrine: either God is omnipresent, or He is invoked for different reasons. God must be Christian-Orthodox and he accompanies Moschopolis even from its very beginning; God is working along with its human servants in building the city and there were mentioned seventy churches built for God's glory. Also God is good and in huge his care for the nation gave such an abundant place. An important part of Boga's utopia is devoted to description of the religious rituals, the missions of priests, all religious manifestations took place on the national background. In this parade of national feeling, it is natural for Boga to express that the language of priests and of the Church was Aromanian, but with a lot of Greek, Turkish and Slavic words. While the Moon watches Moschopolis as in Velo's poem, in Kira Iorgoveanu's verses there is the Star, which guards Moschopolis, mourning for Moschopolis' end.78
The second feature of the Moschopolitan utopia and one of its most stressed one is the general welfare that may be noticed throughout the city. Moschopolis is an island of prosperity and general happiness and this prosperity was the main reason that urged enemies to overthrow and deprive it for all its material goods. Even from the very beginning of his epopee, Boga describes the gargantuan progress of economic life of founder shepherds. The founder shepherds initially had only a few material goods but by their own work the development of settlement progressively increased:

"They all came only with their clothes . / As weapons just sticks in their hands/ Bringing just a few sheep cotes."79

The picture of a labour intensive Moschopolis is suggested by detailed descriptions where people work a lot, especially handicrafts, and this type of image coincides somewhat to a image on how Byzantine city would has resembled to. In this respect, the urban model for Moschopolis was the Byzantine one:

"The Byzantine was distinguished by highly developed handicrafts and commerce. Small-scale artisan production of commodity character was prevalent. Large artisan shops belonged to the state. A guild organisation existed with elaborate rules pertaining to the variegated activities of its affiliated producers."80

The effervescent activity of Moschopolis is pictured by various handicrafts and merchants and everywhere the richness captures the attention of reader, as a fruit of industrious days of work; Velo's image displays a rich Moschopolis with great palaces, tall houses, and impressive buildings. By this exhibited richness, Moschopolis breaks the rules of utopian construction, which glorifies frugality. The utopian-makers did not think to provide a virtuous sense of wealthy Moschopolis in this sense of continence and austerity, but they merely consider that the wealthy of Moschopolitans is a deserved outcome, as a reward for their laboriousness.
The third feature consists of the city's exteriority. Despite its prevalence toward the isolated life, Moschopolis had an important exchange with the external environment. There is a distinct aspect in Boga's image on the prosperity of shepherds: they became richer and richer by external relationships and built up houses for themselves and for their families and their wealth increases by trade, the latter being considered another Aromanian "traditional" profession. Thus, Moschopolis is not a purely closed unit but with some exchanges, but this specificity is also present in More's utopia where the inhabitants of the island fight and make some connections with the exterior world.
First of all, the origins of its fabulous richness are located in exteriority. Many merchants and purchasers came from the surrounding area to buy material goods from Moschopolis and the city gained money from trade with external partners as in Boga's text where rich people come from Athens just to spend their money. Secondly, the external factors influenced Moschopolis in all its aspects of life. When Boga describes the prosperity of inhabitants materialised in building houses, he indicates that the Austrian skilled workers built up edifices and houses in the city. Also, raw materials were brought from abroad for the building of the city. Thirdly, the external presences in the Moschopolitan life were obvious in cultural actions and there is an important alien presence in the Moschopolitan utopia of Greek culture bearers: "there come the scholars from Athens."81 These external influences seem to undermine the utopian character of Moschopolis; in fact, that particularity is permanently maintained through reiterations of its uniqueness in the region. Boga did not forget to allocate the city only for Aromanians or Christians, in which "there is no trace of Turkish or Muslim presence". In fact, authors according to national mythology give the cleavages that separate Moschopolis from the rest of the world and alien presences are ambiguous. On the one hand, the alien presence is evoked when that acts "proper" to national clichés (i.e. the presence of all Christians is very pleased), but one the other hand it is blamed when is not on the same side with hypothetical Aromanian aspirations (i.e. one of the most important plan which resulted in the attacking of Moschopolis was attributed to the Greek Church's intrigues). But the most important element of utopian reclusion towards aliens is given by the verses that show that Turks "are expelled from Moschopolis". Forcefully, the symbolical death of Moschopolis and the main attributed guilty go against Muslims, the bad alien as such: "Neither Turk is in the city/ Nor those old people nor those younger/ Nor Turk policeman patrolling around/ Because they are disliked by Vlachs/ There is no any turban on any head/ Throughout this wholly Aromanian city."82
The fourth feature is that of a very weak representation of the landscape of the city itself and also there is no general plan of Moschopolis, either the Greek model of circle or the Roman archetype of square. The city is not charted in any way and it is not well defined in architectonic and geometric terms as a utopian body. There is no sign of urban symmetry, or notions that prove the presence of an urban unit. Inside of Moschopolis any indication of disposed buildings, network of streets, public places and squares is missing, the functions of elements from internal area and buildings are modest pictured and they are almost absent. There is no a rigorous description of the city and there is no idea of "visual effect"; Moschopolis' beauty could hardly be guessed. The archaeological artifacts did not provide any trace of fortress, towers for guarding, ditches, fortified walls, mobile bridges, and so on. No sign was discovered which could testify the double function of the city: civil and military. Moschopolis' detail is very fragile contoured and the physiognomy of urban area is enigmatic. Nicolae Velo's landscape of Moschopolis is so vague that any further account might be considered out of any rational understanding. Velo describes illusionary palaces and dreamlike gardens and he mourns that the language does not help him in describing the whole beauty of the city. Notwithstanding, Boga's text remains the most complex source for a broader utopian image of Moschopolis, but also conceived in very vague terms. As Velo did, but in a much more modest manner, Boga imagines pharaonical palaces, huge churches which "impales the sky", the building of Academy, the cathedral church, the building of printing press, hospitals, orphanages, and so on. Boga's delirious imagination builds on all those Moschopolitan ascertained ruins public institutions only in order to provide an imposing image of the city.
The fourth feature concerns the social structures of Moschopolis and only Boga's text helps us in decrypting the social relationships among people. The traditional conception regarding utopia, namely the old people are respected and they rule the city, is not linked to national program but it is present in More's book. Due to the traditionalist view on the Aromanian "self", this coincidence was possible and it was so because the same patterns were used for imagining societies. In More's text,

"dishes of food are not served down the tales in order from top to bottom, but all the old persons, who are seated in conspicuous places, are served first with the best food, and then equal shares are given to the rest. The old people, as they feel inclined, give their neighbours a share of those delicacies which were not plentiful enough to go around. Thus due respect is paid to seniority, yet everyone enjoys some of the benefits."83

In Boga's Moschopolis, the traditional way of life states that not only the old persons are respected but also the laws given by seniors govern the city itself. The old people have their certain place in churches, they are respected by their sons-in-law/daughters-in-law or nephews/nieces. The thieves are punished according to laws and, unfortunately, this is the only specification of the Moschopolitan law that is not enough to determine principles, institutions, the amount of written-laws or their categories. Also, the social structures are rigorously determined. There are guilds with their internal hierarchy, ecclesiastical ranks and built hierarchies upon the richness. It is important to notice that, unlike the other utopias where there is mentioned the name and the personality of the ruler of city (and by this particular feature, no individuality is mentioned in More's utopia, only the leader of it, the King Utopus, seems that utopia is designated to be a totalitarian state), no name is given as a leader of the city in the Moschopolitan utopia. As the classical utopian texts, Moschopolis possesses a depersonalised mass of citizens, in which one might find only a few individualities: Theodoros A. Kavalliotes, the president of Academy, some local elites (Emanoil Gojdu), metropolitan bishop of Moschopolis. Much better are represented those two characters that planned Moschopolis' havoc: Ali Pasha, the governor of Thessaly, and his Greek mistress. The author infers that these people are the leaders of the city and the main moments of the Moschopolitan everyday life were linked to their will.
The fifth feature of the Moschopolitan utopia is its character of a mimetic utopia. In itself, the city could not exist as an independent entity and it permanently needs models to which it must be compared. In order to be contemplate at least as great as the other urban models are, Velo compares Moschopolis' richness to Constantinople and Moschopolis' greatness is pictured only when the beholder contemplates Constantinople's greatness. Moschopolis needs Constantinople as a material presence, in order to rebuild its own physiognomy as the greatest urban unit in the area. The peak of mimetic utopia character of Moschopolis is attained by Boga who imagined that even from its very beginning, the founding shepherds tended to build a big city (from the initial village for herds), which had catch up the greatness of Thessaloniki (Salonika). This was the first invoked model. The second model follows the religious utopia: thanking God for their prosperity, Moschopolitans wish to build up as many monasteries and churches as they could and their scope was to attain the monastic complex from the mountain Athos, the spiritual centre of Christian-Orthodox. The third model is given by Athens, whose intellectuals came to Moschopolis and developed it culturally. The fourth model is Constatinople, as I stated hereinabove, and the capital of the Ottoman Empire is simple named "Polea" [The Polis]. The other models had lesser impact but they are mentioned in order to reveal the links of Moschopolis with the rest of the world: Leipzig, as one of the most renowned centre of leather-industry, Venice, Jerusalem and Gomorrah. The latter was used to emphasize the evil plan that presented Moschopolis as the New Gomorrah that deserves to be annihilated. The desire to compare Moschopolis with another cities seems to be an inconsistency of the Aromanian utopian mind, namely, by that the feeling of urban uniqueness is serious damaged by this comparisons: Moschopolis is no longer an exceptional creation of nation but a mimesis of classical urban paradigms, with not any specific improvement.
The sixth particularity of Moschopolis is its assumed task of being an irradiative centre of culture. As we have seen hereto, Moscopolis gathered a sum of intellectuals from Athens; at this detail, Boga's imagination seemed to function on real grounds and this assumption might receive a scientific answer that Moschopolis had overcome Athens, but in the terms of Greek culture. The main cultural institutions of Moschopolis were Academy, the Church84 and the printing press. As an exponent of a spreading-culture metropolis, Boga endows to the printing press the most important role but the imaginary construction of them often reaches the terms of a ridiculous picture. Academy, first of those two cultural institutions, was supposed to host conferences given by foreign scholars, detail without any evidence from an archaeological point of view. Concerning the printing press, Boga reached the peak of derision in presenting the activity of it in enlightening large masses of inhabitants and visitors. The book, as a symbol of Enlightenment and Romanticism, was the bearer of the Aromanian national "soul" and the cultural primacy of Moschopolis is given by books and it seemed that it was a national duty for every citizen to read as many books as one need to be educated in the Aromanian national dialect. Thus, the general image of Moschopolis' education is a huge mass of people reading and learning: children, old people, women, merchants, and so on: "everybody has a book in his hand/ And the whole city is an Aromanian school."85
The last specific feature of the Moschopolitan utopia is the end of the city and the causes that made this end possible. It is a usual feature that utopias are to be imaginary places with happiness and perfection, but in the national mythology, Moschopolis is an unfinished drama.86 It is construed in a Homeric and epic mode, and like a collective empathy for its collapse.87 It had a glorious past but conspiracies defeated it. At this point, the conspiracy theory denies any neutral endeavour to search reasonable explanations for a fact that belongs to political history and it exceeded the utopian narrative and is a part of a larger nationalist conviction. In the Moschopolitan utopia, the main conspirators are Greeks, the Orthodox ecclesiastical hierarchy and the tool of materializing the conspiracy is the rebellious Ali Pasha, governor from Ianina, his Greek mistress, and Albanian guerrillas. This theory of conspiracy is present in all literary creations on Moschopolis and it is taken for granted by many scholars. The climax of the theory of conspiracy is the final battle between the "goods" and the "evils" in which Moschopolis perished heroically but, according to mythology, Moschopolitans have remained conscious of their nationality in their exile as being the elite of Aromanians.
By analyzing Moschopolis I have tried to show the main features which characterize the discourse on the city from its beginning to nowadays. At the end of the analysis and of what means the city of Moschopolis in the collective imagination of Aromanians, a confusion between different levels of understanding remains and a narrative set up for a national purpose and its place is still ambiguous, namely between literature and history. The common feature of both of them is the lamentation on Moschopolis' "grave", a general wailing which block any rational understanding. To put in another words, the scientific knowledge of Moschopolis' past must be entirely based on the separation of these two fields. But the demarcation between the two is not the case of treating it nowadays as a utopian narrative. The separation of the two approaches could undermine the utopian essence that was given to it, and show that the real Moschopolis was more an opened city rather than an isolated and pure area, that is an ordinary city. Interpreting Moschopolis as an urban utopia, literature, history, and architecture intermingled and its theoretical lacunae conferred it a higher degree of utopianism which come closer to utopian categories of Gabriel Liiceanu88. He pleaded for the dichotomy between "utopia of philosophy" and "utopia of the intellect" by stating that the essence of utopia is the quality to be "nowhere", neither in time nor in space, the property to transcend the real. Any attempt to locate utopia is not the ideal type of utopia itself but the type of "utopia of the intellect", a heresy of the essence of the concept itself; then, the essence of utopia is "utopia of philosophy" because only a purely speculative construction fits in philosophy. Thus, the classical model of utopia is Plato, with his absolute "out-of-this world" space. From this philosophical point of view, Moschopolis is a body without any consistency.
Currently, Moschopolis is an emotional contemplation and its fate is abandoned to the divine will; because it is strongly focused on its final battle - most of the literary writings reveal as a supreme drama the moment of the final battle in which the city heroically perished. For those writers who have moaned and groaned, Moschopolis will rise from its own ashes - and Boga used the myth of the Phoenix bird - but until then, Moschopolis is contemplating as the New Jerusalem, the entire creation of God.


66 See Nida Boga, op. cit., p. 193.
67 Leonida (Nida) T. Boga (1886-1974) was born in Veles (today's Republic of Macedonia). He was initially educated in the Greek language, and when schools for Aromanians were opened in the Balkans, at the beginning of 1880s, he was transferred to the Romanian high school from Bitola. He was graduated in history and geography at Bucharest University and was appointed as teacher. He took part in the second Balkan War (1913) and in the First World War (1916-1918). He was hired as teacher in Chișinău, the capital of Bessarabia and also was manager of National Archives of Chișinău. He edited twenty volumes of documents regarding the history of Bessarabia, two volumes on the history of Wallachia' seventeenth century, and as a writer wrote stories and poems in the Aromanian dialect. After the end of the Second World War, he was questioned and harassed by the Romanian communist secret police (the Securitate) as a former functionary of the Romanian administration in Bessarabia. The poem "Moschopolis" was written between 1947-1950 and it was an older project of the author. Boga died in 1974, in Vaslui (Eastern Romania).
68 Sorescu considers that so great was Boga's work in the field of the Aromanian dialect that he considers Boga as a potential winner of the Nobel Prize, as Frederic Mistral received it for restoring the provençal dialect from southern France at the nineteenth century. See Boga, op. cit., p. 192.
69 Nicolae Batzaria (1874-1952) wrote a story entitled "Din vremuri de obidă", which is a short story about imagined sufferings of Moschopolitans after their flee from the devastated city. Batzaria's story was published in Hristu Candroveanu, ed., op. cit.
70 The writer Oani Foti (1887-1940) was educated in the same high school of Bitola and in Bucharest. Nicoale Caratana and Kira Iorgoveanu are writers who are still active.
71 Nicolae Velo, "Moscopolea" (The Moschopolis), published by Hristu Cândroveanu and Kira Iorgoveanu, eds., Un veac de poezie aromână (One Hundred Years of Aromanian Poetry) (București: Ed. Cartea Românească, 1985). Nicolae Velo (1882-1924) also wrote a poem dedicated to another overthrown settlement, Gramoste (today's northern Greece), which was destroyed in the same period as Moschopolis was. Entitled "Șana și arderea Gramostei" (Șana and the Burning of Gramoste), the poem was reprinted by Hristu Cândroveanu, ed., Antologie lirică aromână (An Aromanian Lyrical Anthology) (București: Ed. Univers, 1975). This is another example of Aromanian national mythology, with an historical event that was hyperbolized in literature. According to this legendary version of the poem, Gramoste was burnt because of a very beautiful girl who was desired as a mistress by the Ottoman governor Ali Pasha. Being refused, Ali ordered to Albanian guerillas and Turkish troops to crush down the settlement.
72 Boga placed Moschopolis next to the Gheg populated area in the northern Albania, which is quite opposite to the southern part of Albania where the Tosk population lives in and where were found archaeological traces of the settlement.
73 Boga, op. cit., p. 16.
74 It seems that the myth of the founder shepherd exists within the entire area of northern and southern Danube; the legendary foundation of today's Romanian capital is considered to be the act of the shepherd Bucur, and the name of the city might be translated "the settlement of Bucur's descendants".
75 Boga, op. cit., p. 15.
76 Plato, Republic (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), pp. 72-73.
77 Thomas More, Utopia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), pp. 162-163.
78 Nicolae Caratana's poem Bocet pentru Moscopole [Bewailing Moschopolis], is a long row of sighs over the city. He wants to cry but he cannot do it and he pleases God to heal the injuries of Moschopolis. See Cândroveanu, Iorgoveanu, op. cit. In her Antologie de poezie populară aromână (Anthology of Aromanian popular Poetry) (București: Ed. Minerva, 1976), Kira Iorgoveanu included a popular poetry on Moschopolis' end. The doubts originate in the fact that this poetry has many common features of nationalist paradigm, and the doubts are amplified by the lacunae of detailed explanations of the author regarding the circumstances in which this popular creation was discovered.
79 Boga, op. cit., p. 11.
80 Nikolai Todorov, The Balkan City 1400-1800 (Seattle - London: University of Washington Press, 1983), p. 6.
81 Boga, op. cit., p. 16.
82 Boga, op. cit., p. 32.
83 More, op. cit., p. 143.
84 In Boga's opinion the Church played an important role being considered as a pillar of national education. The Church's implication in public sphere is stressed by the holy service in Aromanian, and the mission of working in printing books in national language was given to the Orthodox monks (See Boga, op. cit., p. 45). As if being aware of its importance, monks defended Moschopolis' printing press until the last moments of city's existence.
85 Boga, op. cit., p. 48.
86 In Iorgoveanu's poem dedicated to Moschopolis, the city is considered an "opened injury" which never will be healed.
87 The ancient Greek poet Homer and his poems were real cultural obsessions for Aromanian writers. Cândroveanu qualifies Boga as being "un poet homerid" [a Homeric poet], the same label being applied to other Aromanian writer, George Murnu (1868-1957), the translator of Homeric poems into the Romanian language.
88 Antohi, op. cit. pp. 64-67.